It's been a rough week for Warner Bros. and DC Films' Suicide Squad. It has certainly taken a drubbing from critics, with the movie slowly dropping to 27% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes as all of the reviews finally settle in. That is the EXACT score Batman V Superman finally wound up with on the aggregated movie review site. Despite this, Suicide Squad has already proven to be an early hit at the box office, and easily beat the Thursday night preview record for August.
Many believed that Suicide Squad would arrive as this summer's saving grace. Which still may be the case. It managed to pull in a good hearty $20.5 million, easily beating the previous August record holder, Disney and Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, which only earned $11.2 million in this same frame back in 2014. In terms of DC and its stable of previous comic book movies, Suicide Squad had the third highest Thursday night preview, coming in behind 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, which earned $30.6M and last March's Batman V Superman, which managed to pull in $27.7 million, despite facing the exact same critical fate as Suicide Squad.
Amongst all-time superhero movies, Suicide Squad's Thursday Night preview ranks fifth, coming in behind the two previous movies, along with Avengers: Age of Ultron, which earned $27.6M last summer, and Captain America: Civil War, which brought in $25M this past May. It's interesting that DC Comics has the two highest grossing Thursday Night preview records, as audiences seem to be hungry for DC movies, perhaps a little more so than Marvel. Now, if they could just get the formula right for a movie that retains its audience, and they could be a good competitor and alternative for what Marvel brings to the table.
When it comes to IMAX screens, director David Ayer's Suicide Squad also easily beat Guardians of the Galaxy's August preview night record, taking in $2.4M against Marvel's previous cume of $1.9M. Early speculation called out that Suicide Squad would have a stellar opening weekend, and that it was poised to beat James Gunn's sci-fi adventure. It's expected that Suicide Squad will still reach at least $140M by the time this three-day weekend is all over and done with. Guardians first three-day haul came in at $94.3 million. It eventually earned $333.1 million at the domestic box office, earning an A CinemaScore and a fresh review of 91%. Good word of mouth kept Guardians at the top of the box office charts all throughout August.
Will Suicide Squad be able to retain that same type of audience? That's the big question looking to the future. In terms of Batman V Superman, critics were not able to dent its opening weekend grosses too much, and it currently ranks as Warner Bros.' second best behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which brought in a solid $169.1M. But as we saw, Batman v Superman crashed hard in its second weekend, with a massive audience drop-off. And then dipped super low in its third weekend.
Suicide Squad is currently fairing well overseas as well. According to Deadline, the movie opened in foreign markets on Wednesday to the tune of $8.1M, with most of the cash coming in from South Korea and France. The movie is set to go wide in 57 territories this weekend, which will represent 70% of its international marketplace standing. We will continue to have box office reports for Suicde Squad as the weekend continues.